Social order

The term social order can be used in two ways:

It may mean a particular system of social structures and institutions. Examples are the ancient, the feudal, and the capitalist social orders.

Secondly, social order is the opposite of social chaos or disorder. It refers to a stable society where the existing social structure is supported by its members.

The problem of order (the Hobbesian problem} is central to much of sociology, political science and political philosophy. It asks how and why social orders should exist at all.


Thomas Hobbes was the first to clearly formulate the problem. He answered with the notion of a social contract.

Social theorists (such as Karl Marx, Émile Durkheim, Talcott Parsons, and Jürgen Habermas) have proposed different explanations for what a social order consists of, and what its real basis is.

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